IS THIS AN AGE OF FINANCIAL REFORM OR PLUNDER WITHOUT END?
Will All The Financial Reforms Lead to Change or Just Prop Up the Status Quo?
By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: It is almost axiomatic to argue that renewal comes out of chaos. And reform and change are born in crisis.
The financial meltdown of 1907 led to the formation of the Federal Reserve Bank. The Crash of ’29 ushered in the New Deal, the FDIC, the SEC, and The Glass Steagall Act etc. Even the disaster at Enron permitted new statutes requiring more transparency like Sarbanes Oxley. And now this greatest of great recessions is leading to a new wave of financial regulation. The public is already said to believe recovery is just around the next corner.
So, relax we are told, read your history books and recognize that disruptions of the established order lead inexorably to the measures to fix it, to stabilize it, to restore it, to renew confidence, to get the economic engines going again. So what if it takes money? Sure it will be expensive, but what’s a few trillion between friends?
President Barack Obama has already warned us that not everything will work out but promised you can trust his team will do its best. Some progressives see this crisis as a time to push a reform agenda but few organizations have engaged these issues directly.
So far, the winds of reform, however mild, are blowing, and some think, blowing up a storm. The Credit Card Bill has passed, never mind that it doesn’t cap interest rates or go into effect for a year. A new financial fraud bill was passed mandating an investigation by Congress. Said Obama: “the commission was important so that we make sure a crisis like this never happens again."